12 January 2012

The Spartacus Report.

Sorry for my lack of posts in 2012 I have been very busy with my Open University Degree and have now passed the second year and am about to start the next. Recent events that disturbingly seem to be being largely avoided and ignored by the media in general have prompted me to make this post however.

It has been reported that the government were defeated by 224 votes on their plans for changes to DLA and ESA due to a campaign and report called "Responsible Reform" but also known as "The Spartacus Report". Which though ignored by the media, thankfully has been received by those who have the power. It's still not over though, they have to vote again About DLA, but are probably back peddling now and hopefully won't go through with it, they are mainly Conservative bastards however so you never know.

Here are links to Some excellent articles on the situation I recommend if you want to know more, and please share them on facebook and twitter if you can using the hash tag #spartacusreport on twitter. the first by Ekklesia:

Campaign Against Disability And Welfare Cuts Steps Up

And a second by Blogger and campaigner Bendy Girl

Our Response To The Government Today

Both help to explain what the Spartacus report is, and how the proposed changes will effect people in genuine need if they go ahead.

The government and media are failing to report vital facts like The actual fraud rate for DLA is 1% and that it is really difficult to qualify for DLA. So everyone who is getting it really needs it, in fact because it's so hard to qualify there are probably people out there who do need it and aren't getting it. Everyone I know who gets it had to fight for it, you need a case worker (a type of social worker) to write letters for you and campaign on your behalf or you have very little chance of getting it. Many disabled people (including people with mental illness) don't have a case worker as there is a terrible lack of funding to provide them so only people with the gravest level of need get them.

The governments desire to cut DLA is clearly just a cost cutting measure and will take away vital independence and help from many people who genuinely need it. I suppose they are expecting charities and volunteers to take it's place with their poorly conceived "Big Society" idea , but these are also struggling to find the funding to help all the people in need, so  many people will slip through the net and suffer.

They are also trying to do away with the social fund, that allows benefit claimants to get loans which they pay back out of their benefits. This is because the money you are given to live on doesn't include money for new clothing and household appliances etc, so you have to take out a loan to buy these things, and the social fund doesn't charge interest, so you only pay back what you have borrowed. Without these loans people will be driven to illegal loan sharks and all the legal companies like provident that rob you blind with their interest. It is very worrying they are even considering stopping the social fund as as I said people pay back the loans they get, it's not free money, and it's essential for buying larger items and clothes.

we can only wait now and see what's going to happen, hopefully through the social media and our blogs we can get public support as well as support from the government and other organizations we can prevent the situations of many vulnerable people getting any worse than they already are in this current economic climate.

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